While sleep is a topic I have written about before, I find in the clinic that problems around babies and sleep are the most common complaints that parents (exhausted and exasperated) come to me seeking help for. Again, this is an area where homeopathic remedies can in many cases provide natural and effective treatments, based on reports from parents. Because they are made from highly-diluted plants, animals, and minerals in origin they are appropriate for babies (even newborns) and children.
It is common for babies and small children to wake during the night from teething pain, coughs and colds, and nightmares. However, when the waking extends beyond the physical complaint or becomes chronic (frequent), there are homeopathic treatments that parents claim have improved the child’s sleep by addressing the underlying cause of the waking.
If it’s a physical symptom that wakes the child such as bed-wetting, stomach pain, or a chronically blocked nose or cough, then the homeopathic remedy is given at bedtime for the acute symptom. Other remedies are constitutional, which can strengthen the child’s immune response, and can make acute symptoms less frequent and shorten their duration.
If nightmares or night terrors are keeping the child from wanting to go to bed, or causing the child to wake in fear, then the treatment addresses any consistent themes in the child’s dreams (monsters, being chased, drowning, etc). Because small children are often affected and not able to verbalize the fear, the state or how the child appears on waking from the nightmare or terror (expression, perspiration, body position, etc) and the type of comfort the child needs (being held, rocked, singing or talking, etc) are often indicators as to the appropriate remedy. If the child is older, then having the child draw me a picture of their nightmare often discloses the content of the nightmare or terror, which again leads to the remedy that I would select.
Often the fear of the dark or monsters will affect a child’s sleep as the fear will create a light and restless sleep pattern. These children are the ones that are really difficult to get to bed at night and they often procrastinate through many (creative) measures to put off bedtime night after night. For parents who look forward to bedtime to have personal or couple time, this can be a very frustrating and exhausting time.
As a parent of a child (now nearly 16) who suffered countless night wakings and terrors, it was homeopathic treatment that resolved her sleep –after the very first remedy was given! This extraordinary result actually inspired me to train in the field of homeopathy. It made me wonder how different our early months could have been if we found homeopathy sooner, though at the time I didn’t think that anything could help. Personally and professionally, I can say without a doubt that homeopathy can help…here’s to sweet dreams.